iPhone 4 Pre-Orders Now Pushed Back To July 14

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

Apple has pushed back the delivery date for iPhone 4 advance sales even more. The U.S. Apple Store is now showing that iPhone 4 pre-orders will ship by July 14, a 12-day delay to the original postponed delivery date of July 2.
Apple is having trouble fulfilling the surge of pre-orders that it began taking on June 15, noting in a statement on Wednesday that it has already sold more than 600,000 iPhone 4s.
Pre-ordering an iPhone 4 is not easy job, however. First off, AT&T suspended iPhone 4 pre-orders on Wednesday, only a day after its Web site was overwhelmed with demand from customers.
AT&T’s surge of interest didn’t just come from new customers, but also from current customers. AT&T extended the new iPhone 4 customer pricing to those whose iPhone contracts expire at any point this year, thus making them eligible for discounted prices starting at $199 (with a refreshed two-year contract).
AT&T’s servers couldn’t cope with the demand, and crashed early on Tuesday, taking down with them the iPhone 4 pre-ordering system on Apple’s own Web site as well. In this process, some reported a glitch that exposed some customers’ personal information to other users. AT&T said it was not able to replicate the issue on its end.
Afraid of the online ordering problems, many have turned to good old-fashioned brick and mortar stores, where long queues formed both on Tuesday and Wednesday.
That didn’t last long either, as Apple confirmed in a statement “many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.”
If you didn’t manage to pre-order an iPhone, but you still want one on launch day (Thursday, June 24), there is still hope. Apple is expected to stock a limited number of devices at its own stores on the day, and Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy will also carry the iPhone 4 on launch day.

First iOS 4 Multitasking Aware Apps Appearing in App Store

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPhone, iPhone OS

Apple has started approving updates for apps that support the new features of iOS 4. The most notable feature that requires explicit support is OS 4 multitasking. One particularly prominent app that now supports the basic iOS 4′s multitasking API is Dropbox, a file sharing/syncing tool.
Apple’s iOS has never supported multitasking in 3rd party applications. Apple has cited issues with performance and battery life as chief concerns with unrestricted multitasking. Instead, Apple has introduced 7 specific background services for IOS 4 apps that will allow them to continue tasks after a user switches away from them. These include:
- Background audio – Allows your app to play audio continuously.
- Voice over IP – Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app.
- Background location – Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are using other apps
- Push notifications – Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn’t running.
- Local notifications – Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
- Task finishing – If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
- Fast app switching – This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left – no more having to reload the app.
The most noticeable change that should be implemented in every iOS 4 aware app is “Fast app switching” which allows you to switch in and out of an application without restarting the app. Dropbox appears to support this feature. Critics will correctly point out that this isn’t really multitasking, but it’s just a start of the support of the new iOS features. More impressive uses of the multitaking API will include apps such as Pandora Radio and Skype.
Apple will be distributing iOS 4 to the public on June 21st.

Apple iPhone 4 sets record sale pace despite gaffe

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sales of Apple Inc’s latest iPhone blew away expectations in its first day on the market despite shortages and an embarrassing online ordering glitch that thwarted many shoppers.
Apple shares rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday after it announced sales of more than 600,000 iPhone 4s, a record for just a single day of pre-orders. That put the device on track to surpass sales of its previous iPhone models as well as its iPad tablet computer, and sounded a strong challenge to rivals like Nokia Corp, which warned of weaker-than-expected sales at its phones unit.
But Apple apologized on Wednesday for having to halt sales temporarily after the surprising volume of online interest overloaded order and approval systems and supplies ran out.
Apple’s website said Wednesday afternoon that products ordered then would be shipped by July 14, three weeks after the phone’s scheduled June 24 launch in stores and slower than the July 2 shipment promised earlier in the day. The site was still slow on Wednesday, making it unclear if orders were going through.
The phone’s exclusive U.S. carrier AT&T Inc said it had halted pre-orders and that sales would resume as soon as inventory becomes available.
The Apple faithful appeared unconcerned. Analysts say the new iPhone would likely surpass sales of the last iPhone 3GS model, about 1 million units of which moved in its first three days. Helping drive that stellar performance will be an influx of new users jumping on the smartphone boom, as well as a two-year replacement cycle for existing iPhone fans.
The first round of carrier contracts signed for the first 3G-based iPhone — launched in 2008 — are due to end soon, JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a research note.
“It’s easy to forget how early we are in the adoption of this device,” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis, saying many had underestimated the size of the iPhone’s addressable market. “There’s only 50 million of them out there. 600,000 is still a drop in the bucket.”
One analyst said sales of the device could reach 10 million per quarter, once Apple can meet demand.
“At some point in the next three to four months they’ll catch up. That’s when they’ll start hitting the 10 million per quarter mark,” Hapoalim Securities analyst Kevin Hunt said.
“There is probably enough demand (to hit that number) in the third quarter but there’s probably not enough supply.”
Another analyst, Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros, said his eight million estimate for the quarter is probably conservative.
Some other analysts have raised concerns that Apple supply shortages — which caused a delay in the international launch of the iPad, for instance — would drive impatient buyers to rivals.
Apple and AT&T have incurred several recent technical and public relations embarrassments, including a security breach on the iPad that exposed email addresses of public figures, and an investigation into a missing iPhone prototype.
AT&T also said it received complaints that potential iPhone 4 customers were seeing other customers’ data on its website. It did not comment on this in Wednesday’s statement.
Apple unveiled the slimmer, $199 iPhone 4 last week, kicking off its fastest-ever global product roll-out to try to stay a step ahead of rivals like Google Inc in a red-hot smartphone market.
The device boasts a higher-quality screen and longer battery life, video chat via Wi-Fi, and a gyroscope sensor for improved gaming.
VERIZON ON THE HORIZON?
Shares of Apple, still hovering near a lifetime high, closed up 2.9 percent at $267.25 on Nasdaq. AT&T slipped 0.08 percent to $25.52 on the New York Stock Exchange.
AT&T said orders of the iPhone 4 were 10 times higher in their first day than for the iPhone 3GS on its launch day last year.
It said it chalked up more than 13 million visits to its website on Tuesday, including customers checking to see if they were eligible to upgrade to a new phone. It said eligibility checks were three times its previous record for a single day.
Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier said the sales numbers were good news for AT&T, especially because of widespread expectations that bigger rival Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, will soon be able to sell iPhones too.
“It means they’re locking up customers into new two-year contracts. Nobody knows when Verizon’s going to the iPhone, but there’s a lot of speculation this will happen.” he said. “Anything AT&T can do to lock up customers now is a good thing.”
Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar said the technical snafus were more of a black eye for AT&T than Apple, and reinforced his expectation for a Verizon iPhone late this year. He does not see the problems helping rivals who make phones powered by the Android software from Google.
“People who can’t get their phones today, they’re not going to go to Android. They’ll just come back tomorrow and try to buy the iPhone,” he said.
AT&T said the availability of its inventory would determine whether it could resume taking orders. Apple apologized to frustrated would-be buyers and asked them to “try again” online and in stores once the phone is in stock.
“We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again … once the iPhone 4 is in stock,” Apple said in a statement.

Should AT&T-iPad 3G security breach worry you?

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPad

If you were an early adopter of the 3G-embedded version of the iPad — as in, you bought it on Day One — there’s a chance that your e-mail address and your iPad’s ICC-ID number were exposed by a group of hackers who exploited a weakness on AT&T’s website. How bad is the breach, and should you be worried?
First, a little background. Gawker broke the news late Wednesday that a group of hackers going by the name of Goatse Security managed to grab the information of more than 114,000 iPad 3G owners — including, as it turns out, such high-profile early adopters as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and maybe even White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — by exploiting a wonky script on the AT&T website.
Basically, by hitting the script with an ICC-ID number (the unique identifier of an iPad 3G’s SIM card), the hackers were able to harvest the e-mail address associated with the account, according to Gawker. By methodically firing off one ICC-ID after another, the Goatse Security hackers managed to dredge up the e-mail addresses of one early iPad 3G adopter after another, including the CEOs of the New York Times, Time magazine and Dow Jones, as well as staffers at NASA and the Department of Defense.
Not good, right? Lucky for us, the hackers at Goatse Security seem more interested in revealing security holes than in exploiting them, and the group shopped around its findings to a variety of news organizations Sunday, according to Forbes, and Gawker bit. (Gawker, by the way is owned by Gawker Media, the same company that owns Gizmodo and paid for Gizmodo’s iPhone leak. Gawker says it didn’t pay for the iPad security breach story.)
In a statement to Gawker, AT&T said it learned of the security hole Monday (from a “business customer,” not Goatse Security) and had plugged it by Tuesday (a day before Gawker published its post). “We take customer privacy very seriously, and while we have fixed this problem, we apologize to our customers who were impacted,” AT&T said, adding that it would be contacting any and all customers whose e-mail and ICC-ID numbers were exposed. Apple has yet to issue a statement.
So, how did the e-mail addresses and ICC-ID numbers of iPad 3G owners end up on a publicly accessible website? As Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo explains, the problem was a “tiny convenience feature” on the iPad 3G that fills (or filled, as of Tuesday) in your e-mail address automatically when you’re checking your AT&T account from the iPad’s Settings menu. Now that AT&T has plugged the security hole, you’ll have to tap in your e-mail address every time you want to check the status of your 3G account.
So if your iPad 3G info was exposed, how worried should you be? According to Gawker, the only data that were scooped up by the hackers were e-mail addresses at the ICC-ID numbers associated with them — no phone numbers, street addresses, credit card numbers or any other personal information.
The New York Times also checked with some security experts, who note that there’s only so much someone could do with your e-mail address — hit you with a phishing attack (you know, a fake message from, say, PayPal, asking for your username and password), or flood your inbox with junk mail.
That said, “in the right hands,” your iPad 3G’s ICC-ID number could be used to track your iPad’s location, one expert told the Times, although another downplayed the threat, noting that an attacker would need “access to very secure databases that are not generally connected to the public Internet.”
Still, even if the damage to actual iPad 3G users is relatively limited (we hope), the breach is acutely embarrassing for Apple and especially AT&T, which managed to leave personal information about its customers vulnerable on a public website.
The snafu also raises the question: What other AT&T security holes are still out there, waiting to be exposed — or exploited?

Apple’s Safari 5 Now Available to Download

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc

Apple has sent word that Safari 5 is now available to download. Available for both Mac and Windows, Safari 5 features a new Safari Reader for reading articles on the web, a 30 percent performance increase over Safari 4, and the ability to choose Google, Yahoo! or Bing as the search service powering Safari’s search field.
“Safari continues to lead the pack in performance, innovation and standards support,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari now runs on over 200 million devices worldwide and its open source WebKit engine runs on over 500 million devices.”
According to Apple, the update contains new features including:
Safari Reader: Click on the new Reader icon to view articles on the web in a single, clutter-free page.
Improved Performance: Safari 5 executes JavaScript up to 25 per cent faster than Safari 4. Better page caching and DNS prefetching speed up browsing.
Bing Search Option: New Bing search option for Safari’s Search Field, in addition to Google and Yahoo!.
Improved HTML5 support: Safari supports over a dozen new HTML5 features, including Geolocation, full screen for HTML5 video, closed captions for HTML5 video, new sectioning elements (article, aside, footer, header, hgroup, nav and section), HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource, WebSocket, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, and HTML5 Ruby.
Safari Developer Tools: A new Timeline Panel in the Web Inspector shows how Safari interacts with a website and identifies areas for optimisation. New keyboard shortcuts make it faster to switch between panels.
Other improvements include:
Smarter Address Field: The Smart Address Field can now match text against the titles of webpages in History and Bookmarks, as well as any part of their URL.
Tabs Setting: Automatically open new webpages in tabs instead of in separate windows.
Hardware Acceleration for Windows: Use the power of the computer’s graphics processor to smoothly display media and effects on PC as well as Mac.
Search History with Date: A new date indicator in Full History Search shows when webpages were viewed.
Top Sites/History Button: Switch easily between Top Sites and Full History Search with a new button that appears at the top of each view.
Private Browsing Icon: A “Private” icon appears in the Smart Address Field when Private Browsing is on. Click on the icon to turn off Private Browsing.
DNS Prefetching: Safari looks up the addresses of links on webpages and can load those pages faster.
Improved Page Caching: Safari can add additional types of webpages to the cache so they load quickly.
XSS Auditor: Safari can filter potentially malicious scripts used in cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
Improved JavaScript Support: Safari allows web applications that use JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to run faster and more securely.
Apple notes performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection and other factors. All testing conducted by Apple in May 2010 on an iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system running Mac OS X 10.6.3, with 4GB of RAM. JavaScript benchmark based on the SunSpider 0.9.1 JavaScript Performance test.
Safari 5 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.2 or later. Safari 5 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista or Windows 7. The free download is available at http://www.apple.com/safari/ or by Software Update on a Mac.

Apple Modifies iOS Developer Terms to Allow Limited Analytics Data Collection

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer

Back in mid-April, Apple updated its developer agreement for iPhone OS (now known as iOS) to ban analytics companies from gathering data from iOS devices being used on their ad networks. The result of the change initially appeared to be a crippling of third-party networks in favor of the company’s own iAds platform, as advertisers rely heavily on analytics to assist them in their advertising efforts.
As last week’s interview at the D8 conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs forcefully noted that the change was sparked by analytics company Flurry’s publication of data showing devices in use on the Apple campus. Jobs was apparently referring to was January report from Flurry showing approximately 50 tablet-style iPhone devices being used at Apple. Acknowledging the value of analytics data for a number legitimate uses, however, Jobs said that Apple would be willing to revisit the topic of data collection with those companies once Apple had cooled down over the issue, “but it’s not today.”
MediaMemo now reports that Apple’s has again modified the relevant portion of its developer agreement, Section 3.3.9, to at least partially open the door to limited data collection for analytics purposes.
If you compare and contrast with Apple’s earlier version, you’ll see the message is clear: It’s OK to collect user data to help sell ads — though you will need to get their permission to do so.
There is a catch, however, as Apple’s new wording requires that any analytics company receiving data be an “independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent)”.
The “independent” qualifier would would seem to prohibit AdMob from receiving such analytics data due to its status as a subsidiary of Google, which is clearly a developer of mobile operating systems. Smaller competitors such as Greystripe and Medialets, however, should be free to obtain analytics data upon receiving appropriate permission.

Apple Posts WWDC 2010 Keynote Video

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

Apple has posted the QuickTime stream for Monday’s keynote address for WWDC 2010.

The keynote has also been added to Apple’s podcast feed.

Apple announced a number of items including:
- Apple’s iAds Going Live on July 1
- iBooks Update to Include Notes, PDF Compatibility
- iPhone OS 4 Becomes iOS 4, Available June 21 for Free
- Apple Announces iMovie for iPhone 4
- Apple Announces FaceTime for iPhone 4 Video Calls
- Apple Announces iPhone 4 with Retina Display, HD Video Recording

iPhone 4 unveiled with video chat — and yes, you’ve seen it before

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer

Calling it the “biggest leap since the original iPhone,” Apple chief exec Steve Jobs proudly unveiled the widely expected iPhone 4, which indeed looks pretty much like the lost iPhone prototype that Gizmodo got its hands on a couple of months ago.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this,” Jobs joked, provoking a roar of laughter from the audience as he showed off the now-familiar redesign of the new iPhone, complete with a front-facing camera (good for video chat via the new “FaceTime” feature), the new rear camera with LED flash (yes!), and a 9.3mm profile that makes the new iPhone “the thinnest smartphone on the planet,” Jobs bragged.
The flat, stainless-steel-rimmed iPhone 4 — and yes, that’s the official name — will be available in black or white, and it’ll go on sale June 24, Jobs said. Expect to pay $299 for the 32GB version (same price as last year’s 32GB iPhone 3GS, provided you sign a two-year AT&T contract), or $199 for the 16GB model. Also: The iPhone 3G is being discontinued, and the old iPhone 3GS will now sell for $99. (Nope, no discussion of an iPhone for Verizon or any other carriers.)
Among the new (and mostly expected) features for iPhone 4: a revamped, higher-resolution (960 by 640) display, now boasting 326 pixels an inch (or 78 percent of the pixels on the iPad) — good for “really, really sharp text” that’s virtually indistinguishable from “text in a fine printed book,” Jobs claimed. The new 3.5-inch screen (same size as before, by the way) even gets its own new name: a “retina display.”
Very catchy, but Jobs ran into a little hiccup during his demo when Web pages on the spiffy new iPhone 4 refused to load. An error pop-up that read “could not activate cellular network” provoked a knowing titter from the audience. Jobs asked audience members to turn off their Wi-Fi and even fished for suggestions, prompting one smart aleck to shout out, “Verizon!” Ouch. (Later during the keynote, Jobs even asked bloggers in the audience to turn off their mobile Wi-Fi hotspots … a request greeted by a chorus of boos.)
After a few minutes, Jobs’ demo was back on track, with the chief exec noting that the iPhone 4 runs on Apple’s new custom-made “system-on-a-chip,” the A4 processor that powers the iPad.
Jobs also promised more battery life thanks to the iPhone 4′s bigger battery and improved power management on the A4 chip — to the tune of seven hours of talk over a 3G network, six hours of 3G Web browsing, 10 hours of video, or 40 hours of music. (That’s Jobs’ claim, of course; the proof is in the pudding, after we run some field tests.)
Also new on the iPhone 4: a three-axis gyroscope, which combined with the existing digital compass and GPS sensor should make for better tracking of the exact direction in which the iPhone is pointing — handy for games or finding your way in a confusing neighborhood with Google Maps.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 4′s camera gets an upgrade to 5 megapixels (up from 3MP on the iPhone 3GS), a 5X digital zoom, and (at last) an LED flash. Another cool new feature: HD video recording, or 720p-quality video at 30 frames per second, to be precise, same as on the new HTC Evo 4G for Sprint (which, with its 8MP camera, still has the upper hand in terms of resolution). Even better, you’ll be able to edit your videos directly on the iPhone, with a little help from the new iMovie for iPhone app (available now for $4.99).
‘FaceTime’ video chat
The big reveal in terms of the iPhone 4′s camera (the “One more thing … ” at the keynote, incidentally), was FaceTime — two-way video chat, a feature that pretty much everyone in the blogosphere had predicted thanks to the front-facing camera on the lost iPhone prototype.
FaceTime gives you a full-screen view of the person you’re chatting with, as well as your own video image in a smaller, inset window. Nifty, but FaceTime will work only over Wi-Fi, “in 2010,” Jobs said, and only from one iPhone 4 handset to another. When will FaceTime work over 3G, you ask? No word on that, beyond the fact that it won’t happen this year.
More iPhone OS details
We already got the biggest news about the latest version of the iPhone OS — support for multitasking — back in April, but Jobs filled in some of the blanks Monday, announcing support for searching via Bing on mobile Safari (in addition to the existing Google and Yahoo! options), as well as talking up the new OS’s enterprise and security features. Oh, and iPhone OS 4.0 now has a new name: iOS 4.0. It’ll be available for download in two weeks, on June 21
Jobs also spent some time on iAds, Apple’s new mobile advertising platform, including a demo of an ad from Nissan that lets you spin around the automaker’s upcoming electric car with the swipe of a finger. The first iAd advertisement should start popping up on the iPhone starting in July, Jobs said, with Apple hoping to rake in a cool $60 million in ad revenue during the second half of 2010.
Netflix, Guitar Hero, iBooks apps
We’ve had Netflix for the iPad for more than two months now, but when will the killer app arrive for the iPhone? The answer: this summer.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings showed off the new Netflix for iPhone app (which Netflix reps had hinted at shortly after the release of Netflix for iPad) during Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote Monday, and it looks pretty much like a smaller, iPhone-sized version of the current Netflix for iPad app.
Features include full-length streaming of movies and TV shows directly on the iPhone, as well the ability to pause and pick up videos where you left off, either on the iPhone itself or on your other Netflix-enabled devices, such as PC, a Mac, a game console, or (of course) the iPad.
You’ll also be able to rate and search for videos, as well as manage and add titles to your “instant” queue. Nice, but will Netflix for iPhone work over 3G networks, or only via Wi-Fi? Guess we’ll find out later this summer.
Meanwhile, we’ll also be getting an official Guitar Hero game for the iPhone, complete with classic songs from Queen and the Rolling Stones. Poised to compete with two other popular iPhone-ized rhythm games — Tap Tap Revenge and Rock Band — the new Guitar Hero app boasts a new “strumming mechanic” developed specifically for the iPhone version of the game, according to an Activision exec at the keynote.

The graphics on the game itself (available today in the App Store) look pretty sweet, at least from what we’ve seen during the brief demo, and the price tag — $2.99 — is also hard to beat.

Finally, Jobs showed off an app we’d already seen back in April: iBooks for the iPhone, complete with the same features as on the iPad version of Apple’s e-reader app (including note-taking, highlighting, in-app book purchasing, and the ability to tweak font sizes and background colors).

Last-minute Apple rumor round-up

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer

The wait is almost over. Come Monday’s keynote at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, odds are we’ll get a look — perhaps not the first, after all those crazy leaks — of the next iPhone, complete (supposedly) with a new, flatter shell, dual cameras, and a higher-resolution display. But what else will Steve Jobs pull out of his bag of tricks?
Fourth-generation iPhone
Barring a jaw-dropping surprise from Apple, we’ve probably already seen the new iPhone, thanks in part to a hapless Apple engineer who lost a prototype (or had it stolen from his backpack, depending on whom you believe) a couple of months ago. Gizmodo paid a $5,000 finder’s fee to publish detailed photos and videos of the handset in a series of blog posts. Additional snapshots from another purported leaked iPhone later surfaced in Vietnam.
The handset they documented would represent the most radical change in the iPhone’s form factor since the original iPhone debuted in 2007. The curved back of the iPhone 3GS would be replaced with a smooth, flat ceramic shell, complete with flat aluminum edges and buttons.
Also new, according to the bloggers who poked and prodded the prototypes: a revamped, higher-resolution display (960 by 640, to be exact, or twice the resolution of the original iPhone), dual cameras (one in back with a flash, the other in front, apparently for video chat), a version of Apple’s new A4 processor (the same one that powers the iPad), and a larger battery. The phone is also thinner than the iPhone 3GS, but slightly heavier than the current 4.8-ounce model, the bloggers said.
That’s what we (think we) know. What we don’t yet know is how much the new iPhone will cost or what storage capacities will be available. The 32GB iPhone 3GS goes for $299 with a new, two-year AT&T contract; the 16GB version sells for $199 with service. Will Apple stick to $299 as the upper end of its price range, and will it double the capacity of the priciest iPhone (to 64GB, in this case) as it has in years past? Will the current $99 8GB iPhone 3G be phased out? We’ll have to wait and see.
Other question marks: the exact resolution of the new camera(s); whether and how AT&T will support video chat, assuming the front-facing camera is the real McCoy; whether the iPhone is coming to other carriers, namely Verizon (maybe eventually, but probably not Monday); the precise day when the next iPhone goes on sale; and what the new iPhone will end up being called. (The iPhone HD? 4G? Something else?)
iPhone OS 4.0
The most dramatic change coming to the iPhone has, in fact, already been announced: multitasking for third-party apps, which will arrive as a feature in the latest version of the iPhone operating system. Also coming in iPhone OS 4.0: a universal e-mail inbox, home-screen folders, a social-gaming network, and support for Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform. Of course, we already got most of those details during an Apple presentation in April; hopefully, we’ll get an exact release date at Monday’s keynote.
iTunes in the cloud?
Here’s where we start wandering deeper into rumorville, with speculation that Apple might launch an “in the cloud” version of iTunes because of its acquisition of Lala earlier this year. Sounds like a good idea — and an inevitable one — but All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka thinks such an “iTunes.com” service is still a long way off, pending “negotiations with the [music] labels.”
Revamped $99 Apple TV?
One of the hotter rumors last week had it that Apple was primed and ready to get serious with its Apple TV “hobby,” staring with a new, compact Apple TV device with a minimal amount of flash storage and powered by the iPhone OS — and best of all, it would cost just $99. It’s a nifty idea, especially if it meant streaming movies and TV shows from iTunes rather than having to store them on your Mac’s hard drive. It would also be a logical move in response to the upcoming Google TV. But Jobs poured cold water on the rumor this past Tuesday, telling conference-goers at D8 that “nobody’s willing to buy a set-top box” because they’re used to getting cable/satellite set-top boxes for free. A new, cheaper Apple TV still might happen, but the conventional wisdom is that it won’t arrive Monday.
Free MobileMe?
MobileMe — a service that syncs contacts, calendar events and an in-the-cloud “iDisk” among Macs, iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads — launched back in 2008 and landed with a thud after early adopters found themselves locked out of their Apple mail, unable to log into the MobileMe Web interface, and stuck with calendars and contact books that were hopelessly out of sync — oh, and the $99-a-year subscription fee didn’t help.
Steve Jobs ended up apologizing for the snafus, and Apple eventually managed to iron out the kinks (indeed, as a MobileMe subscriber myself, I can attest that the service is running more or less smoothly now), but MobileMe’s image never really recovered from its early black eye. Nixing the $99 annual fee would be a great incentive for users to give MobileMe a second chance, however, and rumor is that such a move could be announced Monday.
One more thing …
Steve Jobs promised last month that despite all the leaks, we “won’t be disappointed” by Monday’s WWDC announcements. Is another dramatic “one more thing” on the agenda? Maybe the long-awaited (if long-shot) Verizon iPhone, that new Apple TV I just mentioned, an iPod Touch with a camera, or something else out of left field?

Wal-Mart Cuts IPhone 3GS Price to $97

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

Computerworld — Wal-Mart (WMT) today dropped the price of Apple’s (AAPL) 16GB iPhone 3GS by $100 to $97, according to the retailer’s Web site.
Multiple reports, including from the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal , had said that the giant retailer’s new price would go into effect Tuesday and run indefinitely. As with all iPhones, customers buying the lower-priced 3GS must commit to a two-year contract with AT&T.
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Wal-Mart’s Web site listed the new price on the site at 6 a.m. Eastern time today. At 2 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the site had still posted the 16GB iPhone 3GS at $197, a $2 savings over Apple’s and AT&T’s $199.
Wal-Mart was not available for comment late Monday.
The move will likely be seen as the best evidence yet that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will unveil the next iPhone June 7, the opening day of the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
It’s unknown when Apple would start selling the next-generation iPhone. However, if it sticks to last year’s timetable, Apple will launch its newest iPhone Friday, June 18.
Although Wal-Mart’s timing may be unexpected, the price cut is not: When Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS in early June 2009, it immediately slashed the price of the previous model, the entry-level 8GB iPhone 3G, to $99. Apple and AT&T continue to sell the iPhone 3G at that price.
Most analysts expect that Apple will repeat the move this year: When it unveils the new smartphone, Apple will drop the price of the iPhone 3GS to $99. If so, Wal-Mart would retain its current $2 price advantage over Apple and AT&T.
Rumors that bolstered that speculation hit several Apple and technology blogs earlier Monday. The Boy Genius Report , for example, claimed that its sources said Apple had stopped shipping the 8GB iPhone 3G to AT&T stores, and that further production orders for the 2008-era smartphone would not be placed.
The disappearance of the iPhone 3G makes sense, not only because it makes way for a cut-rate iPhone 3GS, but also because the older model is not able to multitask , the flashiest new feature in iPhone OS 4, the mobile operating system upgrade that Apple previewed last March and promised to release this summer.

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